Expert's top tips for relieving dry skin
Whether you have dry skin in general or struggle with skin dryness periodically, it never feels good. Itchiness, cracking, flaking, dull appearance and overall discomfort are the usual symptoms of dry skin, which I’m sure most of us have experienced.
Read on to find out from the skincare expert how to treat and soothe dry skin.
What causes dry skin?
You might think it’s body dehydration, but dry skin is not caused by not drinking enough water. Dry skin can be genetic, however, there are some additional reasons why skin tends to turn dry:
- very hot or cold weather (think scorching sun or freezing, windy winter)
- low humidity in the air (heated rooms, aircon etc.),
- long hot baths or showers - hot water pulls moisture OUT of your skin as it evaporates;
- harsh body wash products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES);
- bath bombs - baking soda has a very high pH, unsuitable for the skin;
- commercial soaps - cheaply produced, they mostly foam but contain very little moisturising ingredients;
- skincare ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid (BHA), l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ethanol, denatured alcohol (not all “alcohols” are drying but that’s for another blog);
- skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis;
- ageing and menopause - as we age, skin becomes thinner, produces less oils (sebum) and loses moisture more quickly;
- low levels of vitamin D in your body.
How to combat dry skin
Firstly, drinking more water won’t solve the dry skin issue. To effectively stop your skin from flaking, cracking, itching, dryness etc., you need to identify and eliminate the root cause.
For example, have you been out in the sun a lot recently? Or maybe you’ve been indulging yourself in hot baths and used some lovely scented but drying body wash? Or perhaps you started using a serum with high content of vitamin C? These could be the culprits.
Of course, sometimes it’s not possible or is difficult to eliminate the reasons for dry skin, i.e. genetic, ageing or complex skin conditions. And yet, you can alleviate skin dryness by avoiding all other triggers and establishing a good skincare routine.
Dry skin care routine step-by-step
Once you eliminate the culprits of dry skin (refer to the bullet point list above), you need to help your skin restore its protective barrier, stay hydrated, moisturised and shielded from the environment.
Follow these top dry skin care tips:
- Take a medium warm, short shower (which helps the planet too!);
- Cleanse your body and face with mild, non-fragranced wash. I use Deerieo moisturising soaps to wash both face and body as they contain 70% (!) moisturising plant butters and oils - no shower gel or commercial soap can match that;
- Pat your body dry with a soft towel (leave your face wet) and immediately apply body lotion. Deerieo Selkie hand & body lotion with aloe vera, panthenol and seaweed is fast absorbing so you won’t feel greasy afterwards and your skin will remain soft and protected all day. Pour Selkie lotion into a small reusable container to use as a hand cream on the go (and never have dry hands again after all the handwashing);
- Apply a portion of Deerieo Daily Glow face cream blended with 3 drops of Deerieo Aurora oil serum to your face and neck. I recommend this blend for dry skin for an enhanced hydration, softening and environmental protection;
- Apply a balm like Deerieo Berry Clean balm to particularly dry patches for extra moisturising, softening and protection. Berry Clean is unscented and designed for sensitive skin, so you can safely leave it on and use it as a hand and feet mask overnight;
- Use a lip balm to protect your lips from chapping and weather. Deerieo offers three vegan-friendly lip balms you can use all year to keep your lips soft and protected;
- Don’t forget to use the UVA/UVB SPF30+ sunscreen if you’re going to spend time outdoors. Apply it 30 minutes before leaving the house and reapply every 2 hours.
Should I exfoliate dry skin?
Yes and no. A gentle mechanical exfoliation with a soft body glove (avoid harsh ones) is a good thing. It helps to remove flaky skin and support the absorption of body lotion and balm. However, don’t exfoliate over areas that appear red, inflamed or itchy - this may cause damage to the skin and spread bacteria if there is an infection. Do it twice a week.
For the dry skin on the face, I recommend chemical exfoliants with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) instead of scrubs and washcloths. Use it once or twice a week - this will help to remove dry skin without causing further dryness and irritation.
Voila! No more dryness and discomfort. You can now enjoy soft, moisturised and healthy skin with little effort and maximum results.
Do you suffer from dry skin? Or maybe you have questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.
Karolina from Deerieo x